College Football

Pitt vs UMass 9/4/21 College Football Picks, Odds, Predictions

Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0)
September 4, 2021 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: Pittsburgh Panthers -38 / Massachusetts Minutemen +38; Over/Under: 56.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)

The Pitt Panthers meet the UMass Minutemen in week 1 2021 college football action from Heinz Field on Saturday.

The UMass Minutemen will look to bounce back in 2021 from one of the worst seasons potentially in college football history. Granted it was only four games, but the Minutemen went 0-4 and scored just 12 points all season. It’s been a quarterback carousel to say the least, but the Minutemen may have found a consistent answer with Tyler Lytle transferring in from Colorado, while Garrett Dzuro is back after throwing for 215 yards and a pair of INTs last year, while completing just 42% of his passes. The running back group needs help as well but Kay’Ron Adams transfers in from Rutgers to work alongside Ellis Merriweather who had 115 rushing yards in 2020 and was the only back to have a rush of more than seven yards all season. Jermaine Johnson is back after recording 14 receptions last year while Josiah Johnson will lineup at tight end along with Taylor Edwards. Defensively, Avien Peah, Taishan Holmes and Billy Wooden led a defensive line that was probably the only thing that went right for the Minutemen, recording 9 sacks and 31 TFLs last season. Nahji Logan is really the only familiar face in UMass’ linebacking group but all five starters from a secondary that failed to record an interception last season are back, led by Tanner Davis who was 3rd on the team with 24 tackles as well as Te’Rai Powell. As a team, UMass averaged 3 PPG and allowed 40.2 PPG last season.

The Pitt Panthers come into 2021 looking to build off of a 6-5 season in 2020 which included a 5-5 mark in ACC play. Kenny Pickett passed on going pro and returns for his senior season at quarterback after throwing for over 2,400 yards with 13 TDs and 9 INTs last season. Vincent Davis returns alongside Pickett in the Pitt backfield after rushing for a team-high 632 yards and 6 touchdowns last season while AJ Davis recorded 266 rushing yards as well. Pickett also called his own number for a touchdown 8 times last season. The receiving corps is set up to help Pickett as well, including leading target Jordan Addison who caught 60 passes last season. Six of the seven returning wideouts for Pitt are back and each had at least 20 catches last season. Lucas Krull is also expected to be the Panthers’ top option at tight end this season for a safety valve should Pickett need it. Defensively, Pitt hopes to be as good as they’ve been the last couple of years, with a line that recorded 46 sacks. Devin Danielson and Tyler Bentley will lead the way for the Panthers on the defensive line while David Green and John Morgan will also aid in Pitt’s pass rush attack. Pitt’s linebacking group is also stacked, with Cam Bright, Phil Campbell, SirVocea Dennis and Chase Pine all wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. Pitt’s secondary is filled with upside, but Damarri Mathis could be one of the ACC’s best corners if he stays healthy and Brandon Hill and Erick Hallett have their chance to lead the safety group for the Panthers this season. As a team, Pitt averaged 29 PPG while allowing 24.5 PPG last season.

UMass is 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall and3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games played on a Saturday while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 week 1 matchups. Pitt is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 week 1 matchups and 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 home games on Saturday while the over is 7-0 in their last 7 Saturday games.

This is a lot to give up with Pitt, but truthfully, that’s just how bad UMass is. The Minutemen just don’t have anything going for them and I think the Minutemen are going to find it tough once again to keep pace in games. Pitt brings back Kenny Pickett which is massive for the season and I just think this is the perfect tune up spot for the Panthers. I’ll lay it and play it with Pitt here.

Chris Ruffolo's Free Pick:
Pitt -38
Free Bet Match Up To $1,001; Use code DAWGZRF

Chris Ruffolo

Chris joined the Sports Chat Place team in August 2016 and since then he's worked tirelessly to pick out winners across a wide range of sports from NBA,NHL,MLB and NFL and even into the college ranks of football and basketball as well. Chris has carried over his drive and determination from playing sports at a young age to crushing the competition on a daily basis here at Sports Chat Place!

Related Articles

Back to top button